Lawyers for Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons said they won’t release documents that they say show the governor and his wife paid for their share of a vacation that the couple took with a federal defense contractor to Turkey.
Although the governor says the documentation exists, Andrew Blum, a spokesman for Gibbons’ Washington D.C.-based lawyer Abbe Lowell, said Wednesday that the vacation receipts won’t be made public.
Blum released a statement last week confirming that Jim and Dawn Gibbons traveled to Turkey in 2000 with three other couples, including Fatih and Eren Ozmen, who own a military defense firm that sought millions of dollars’ worth of federal contracts while Gibbons was a congressman serving on the House armed services and intelligence committees.
The statement said the Gibbonses paid for their own airfare and for expenses “like accommodations.”
“Expenses for group activities were generally shared,” it said.
Gibbons repeated the assertion Tuesday.
“We paid for it all, and we have the receipts. We’ve made those available to everybody, including the press,” Gibbons told The Associated Press.
When told that his lawyers had not yet responded to requests for the information, Gibbons said, “I can’t control them. … You’ll just have to go back and ask them. But we have all the receipts, we paid for everything, take it for granted we paid for it.”
At the time, members of Congress were not allowed to accept gifts exceeding $50 in value, although some exceptions existed for gifts from personal friends.
Less than a year before the Turkey trip, the Ozmens’ company, Sparks-based Sierra Nevada Corp., received a $12 million contract to build an aircraft landing system for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The company later paid Dawn Gibbons, a former assemblywoman and wedding chapel owner, about $35,000 for public relations consulting work while the congressman was helping it secure a $2 million federal contract.
Gibbons’ relationship with another defense contractor, Reno-based eTreppid Technologies LLC, has been the subject of a federal corruption probe.